William Miller's predictions concerning the Second Coming of Jesus initially drew 50,000 to 100,000 faithful. When the date came and Christ did not arrive in person, Miller's followers scattered in what is known as "the Great Disappointment."
Schisms and Sects
Following "the Great Disappointment," many of Miller's followers continued to hold Adventist beliefs and formed a number of separate churches. The largest of these is the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Missions and Expansion
The first Seventh-day Adventist mission began in 1874 when missionary John Nevins Andrews worked to organize other Sabbatarians in Switzerland. The Church is now a genuine worldwide community with missions in over 200 countries.
Exploration and Conquest
In the wake of "the Great Disappointment," Adventists faced ridicule and contempt, but nevertheless quickly grew in numerical strength and prosperity. Its humanitarian aid agency, founded in 1956, is one of the world's leading non-governmental relief organizations.
Presently the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a worldwide community of over thirteen million members. It publishes in over 850 languages and dialects. Its worldwide health food companies annually produce over $500 million worth of products.